In the final hours before spring break, Fairfield men’s lacrosse defeated Rutgers 11-7 for their ECAC victory in their first conference game.

However, the success was short lived for the Stags.

During their spring break, men’s lacrosse went down south to Boca Raton, Fla. While many were soaking up the sun and booze, the team played at St. Andrew’s against Ivy League opponent Yale.

The Stags went one step forward and two steps back. For the third straight year, they lost to Yale; this year by an astonishing 19-5 deficit. Almost every player saw action in the flailing cause, as nothing seemed to click.

The resilience and character that was prevalent last year rang true as the Stags were able to move on to another Ivy League opponent in Harvard.

After the break, the Stags rebounded by defeating Harvard 7-5. The win brought the Stags to 3-2 on the season.

Greg Downing ’07 continued his scoring tear with two goals against Yale and four against Harvard. Downing leads the team in scoring with 17 goals and 4 assists for 21 points. Earlier on Monday, Downing was named a candidate for the Tewaaraton Award, an award given annually for the best men ‘s and women’s lacrosse player in the country.

Mike Bocklet ’07 also contributed to the offense with one goal and four assists over the two games. Bocklet is second in scoring with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points.

Travis Nelson ’08, who scored the eventual game-winning goal against Harvard, and is second on the team in goals with 10 and third in points with 12, has been a nice offensive surprise for the Stags.

The usual stellar defense has been a major question for the Stags. Goalkeeper Micheal Kruger ’07 has allowed 41 goals on the season for a 9.7 goals against average.

Kruger however, had arguably his best game of the season against Harvard, when he tied a career-high of 20 saves for the game.

The Stags also have committed 48 turnovers and are committing more penalties than they are receiving, statistics that Head Coach Ted Spencer was concerned about in the preseason.

These questions will have to be shored up as the Stags will face ECAC powerhouse Penn State at home this Saturday. It will be a true test for the Stags as Penn State is perhaps the best defensive team in the ECAC, while the Stags lead the conference in almost every offensive category. Last season the Stags defeated Penn State in overtime 11-10.

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